Last week, the legendary Georgia trial lawyer, Tommy Malone, died after “after a long and courageous battle with cancer that he never quit fighting.” Read about Tommy .
Earlier this year, the extraordinary Connecticut trial lawyer, Michael Koskoff, died after a bout with pancreatic cancer. (See about Mike last weekend.)
ThePopTort and the Center for Justice & Democracy are practically at a loss for words over this double blow but we'll try.
Both Tommy and Mike touched so many people in so many ways, which the articles cited above describe. But their passing has also been a personal loss to us at ThePopTort and the Center for Justice & Democracy.
We met both many years ago in the midst of some very tough national and state "medical malpractice tort reform" battles. We have emails from both Mike and Tommy dating back well over a decade, full of offers of help and words of encouragement during that time - and ever since. From Tommy: “You and your work are increasingly valuable and appreciated,” “Thank you very much for this great work,” and “We very much appreciate all that you do.” From Mike: "Keep up the good work," “You are the best!,” "You are doing great work and we are proud to support you."
Just knowing they were there, supportive, optimistic, and supremely confident in our abilities without questions asked, meant everything. Most people have no idea what that kind of support means to an organization like ours.
Even though we did not speak regularly with either Tommy or Mike, their inspiration infused our work. As we told Mike’s family earlier this year (and the same goes for Tommy), in fighting for justice, sometimes we get knocked down, perhaps more than we should. But the important thing is to get back up, stay positive and keep going. That’s what they did. And following their examples, that’s what we try to do, too.
We join their families, friends and colleagues and mourn their passing - as we get back up, stay positive and keep going. Just like they would do.